Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can't see the forest for the trees

(pic: Summer 08, Eastern Sierras)

....."An expression used of someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole."

Raising a teenage boy has definitely been much different from raising a teenage girl. If it can be broken, he will break it. If it is a chore needing to be done, he will wait to the last minute, half do it, or come to find out later didn't do it at all. Schoolwork...hahahaha...right. Don't get me wrong, my son is a good kid; just, well, a 14yr old boy who is stuck in the tween state of child and adult.

While I've been busy with uni, my hubby and son have become well absorbed with an X-Box live internet game; and, have developed a team of people from all over the world who play together and take on challenges from other teams, etc. I've encouraged it, as it allows for 'male bonding' time. Now, why am I speaking of this, you might wonder? Back to the teenage boy. He's managed to decimate three pair of not that inexpensive Turtle Beach headsets. The first pair were somehow mangled...the 'boogeyman did it'...(they were probably trampled during a running-thru-the-house nerfgun war with his friends (they had somehow forgotten that the house was neutral territory). The second pair were vacuumed over; he was too lazy to move the wires. The third pair my hubby had just bought. They were in the house about thirty seconds, when teen boy, eager to help open the package because he knew he had just wrecked the second pair....managed to cut the wires to the headset as he was opening the package..........

He knew he blew it, and went to his room upset, very upset. My hubby wasn't sure whether to laugh or be angry. The teen daughter had just warned the teen son to slow down, be careful with opening the package. You see, the teen son has a problem with paying attention to detail and hurrying through things. It's an ongoing battle; an ongoing sit down and talk; an ongoing trying to help form character; ongoing test of patience to let them grow at their own pace, rather than forcing the issue. We could have chosen to punish, to yell, to become angry at the money wasted; however, I really think that would have crushed his spirit. He really was honestly sorry, honestly angry with himself. The one thing I do love from these situations is turning them around for teaching times. This is not always easy, mind you. It's easy to become emeshed in just the immediate problem before you; see only what is going on in 'the now'.

I'm really hoping this lesson of the headsets will forever be a reminder for him in the future...to slow down, pay attention to detail and not hurry through things...when driving a car, operating machinery, or anything else that may come his way as a young man. The hubby sat the teen boy down, and managed to repair the vacuumed head set using some old parts from one of the other pair; the teen volunteered to pay for the replacement wires for the newest set. Hopefully another lesson of resourcefulness and responsibility was taught. Sometimes raising a child means that you have to not only see the individual trees but also the big picture of the forest. Being a parent isn't always easy, but it's been the best 'job' yet.


That Hideous Man said...

Oh I can't wait 'till my three are teenagers! :-O

His Girl Friday said...

Hi HM,

well, if TB and I can shed any light or give any pointers...or at least commiserate..... ;DD

lucy said...

teenagers...i could go on, but i think i won't. good luck!!!

Endlessly restless said...

The problems see to be the same but different across the world and the genders.

My advice to all parties (including parents) is two-fold - hurry slowly and anticipate consequences.

of course, I don't follow this advice myself but that's not really the point - or is it?? ;-)